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Honey crystallization: is it good or bad?

2018.10.18
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Straight from the start, we must mention that crystallization is a normal process if manufacturing and storage of honey are carried out without disturbance. Pure honey, which is stored in hermetically sealed honeycombs in hives, at a temperature of 20-30° C, is always liquid. Crystallization starts sooner or later after honey harvesting under the influence of combination of certain factors. In this article, we will speak about everything in greater detail.

Why is honey crystalized?

We remember from school course of chemistry: natural honey contains fructose, glucose, sucrose and other saccharides, which in various quantities occur into honey from pollen and are formed as a result of bee life. Crystallization is directly proportional to the amount of glucose, but other compounds on the contrary delay the precipitation.

How does it happen? Fresh honey contains glucose and other impurities, which form crystallization centers – points and other glucose molecules gather around them. This process creates crystals that begin to subside, gradually changing the structure of honey.

So, the first reason of honey crystallization is its chemical composition. However, the rate of process depends on not only ratio saccharides but also other factors:

  • Quantity of water (natural honey contains from 16 to 21% of water). If there is a lot of it, crystals are formed slower and vice versa.
  • Air temperature. The most active process of crystallization occurs at the temperature close to 15° C.
  • Dormant state. During mixing of honey crystals of glucose break and precipitation is slowing down. Industrial production of honey often includes the filtration of honey, which slows down the process of crystallization thanks to crumbling centers of crystallization.

All mentioned factors influence only the speed of precipitation, but if honey does not contain any artificial additives (additional quantity of water, sugar syrup, artificial dextrin and other substances that make honey liquid), crystallization is still unavoidable.

Conclusion

The main conclusion is that crystallized honey is not dangerous because this is one of its natural states, which does not have any influence the nutrition, content of minerals, vitamins and other useful substances.

You can read more articles about honey in News section.

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